2016 Georgia State football look ahead: Tennessee-Martin

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Let’s continue the Georgia State football 2016 way-too-early look at next year’s schedule with Tennessee-Martin.

I assume this will be the Panthers’ homecoming game because of the opponent and the date of the game, Oct. 22.

To recap: Georgia State won its last four regular-season games to reach 6-6. The Panthers were invited to the Cure Bowl in Orlando and were defeated 27-16.

The Panthers return eight starters on offense and nine on defense.

Those starters who aren’t returning are all key, led by quarterback Nick Arbuckle. He became the Sun Belt’s single-season passing leader in the loss to the Spartans.

So, how might the Panthers do next year?

Here’s a look at Ball State, which the Panthers will play Sept. 1 or 2.

Here’s a look at Air Force, which the Panthers will play Sept. 10.

Tennessee-Martin

2015 record: 7-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference of FCS. They averaged 35.5 points and 456.6 yards per game. They passed for 293.5 yards per game. They allowed 33.6 points and 394.3 yards per game.

When will they play: in the Georgia Dome.

Have the teams played before? No.

Key players returning

  • RB Ladevin Fair: 68 carries for 375 yards and two touchdowns;
  • RB Najee Ray: 47 carries for 264 yards and two touchdowns;
  • WR Caylor Weathers: 62 receptions for 726 yards and eight touchdowns;
  • LB Kevin Prather: 57 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 2 1/2 sacks;
  • LB James Gilleylen: 55 tackles, 5 1/2 for loss;
  • DL Damani Taylor: 54 tackles, 9 for loss, 5 1/2 sacks;
  • OL Ben Axline;

Key players lost

  • QB Jarod Neal: Passed for 3,117 yards and 30 touchdowns with 14 interceptions;
  • RB Trent Garland: 149 carries for 674 yards and eight touchdowns;
  • WR Rod Wright: 62 receptions for 963 yards and 14 touchdowns;
  • WR William Tanner: 47 receptions for 656 yards and five touchdowns;
  • DB Walter Evans: 2 interceptions;
  • DB Jordan Landry: 2 interceptions;
  • S Marquis Clemons: team-leading 79 tackles;
  • DB Terrious Triplett: 61 tackles, one interception;
  • OL Jordan Murphy

Outlook

Seems likely Georgia State should win this game because of the number of key players lost by Tennessee-Martin. Of course, things didn’t go well the last time the Panthers played an FCS team (loss to liberty in the Georgia Dome).


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